Having trouble controlling your manas, the King of senses? – Here’s the key!

Determination and skill are key contributors in reaching a goal. However, what if your own heart, manas is not set on the goal? Can determination and skill ignore your manas and move you forward? In such a case, the journey towards goal becomes very tiresome and difficult. So, how can we set our manas on the goal?

For example: You don’t want to watch a movie that isn’t of great value add to your precious time. But, manas tempts you to have fun for some time and forget the value of time. For most people, the determination weakens and manas wins! This is only an example, there could be several different areas in which we encounter such situation. In such situations:

  • Do we let manas win over for that instance by letting it do what it wants, and then teach to it that it wasn’t a good choice by showing what is right and wrong about it?  OR
  • Do we order manas to do what is right for us?

Neither of them is right!

Let’s take the first case – Do we let manas win over for that instance by letting it do what it wants, and then teach to it that it wasn’t a good choice by showing what is right and wrong about it?

This is not recommended. Let’s take the same example. The intention now is to let manas watch the movie and teach it that it is not a good decision. Manas may argue with you that there is some good moral value that the movie teaches. However, by the time the movie is over, there are several other unwanted ideas and views from the movie that get imprinted in your mind. That final piece of a good message has no space in your mind. It just flies up from the top of your head with none or little attention.

Let’s take the second case – Do we order manas to do what is right for us?

This is also not recommended. You should neither order it nor suppress it. You should never let it feel bad. You should keep talking to it about what is the right thing to do, just like you would talk to a friend who is going in a wrong direction. It is very sensitive. And you should carefully nurture it. Don’t yield because it becomes your responsibility to tell it what is good for you both.

It is said in Bhagavad Githa:

ఉద్ధరేదాత్మనాత్మానం నాత్మానమవసాదయేత్ |
ఆత్మైవ హ్యాత్మనో బంధురాత్మైవ రిపురాత్మనః

If you want to grow yourself, do not let your manas run behind other sensory objects. Manas benefits you when it is your friend and ruins you if it is not!

It is also said in Upanishads:

మన ఏవ మనుష్యానాం కారణం బంధ మోక్షయోః !
బంధాయ విషయాసంగి మోక్షే నిర్విషయం స్మృతమ్ !!

Manas is the cause of bondage and is the cause of liberation. Manas absorbed in the sense objects is the cause of bondage and detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation.

Nammalwar did not read/learn Bhagavad Gita or Upanishads. He was naturally in love with God. That is why, his conduct matched completely with what those scriptures said. The way he spoke to his manas amazes us. He goes to a level where he says, “Oh my dear manas, can you take my message to God please?” After a couple of lines in his song, he says ‘Why isn’t my manas coming back? Did the manas also fall in love with God and so could not leave Him. He thinks out loud, “Who else is on their way to God so that I can ask them to call my manas back to me?” He then speaks to a devotee who is also fond of God to go and fetch his manas with a message from God!

Imagine the intensity! These thoughts cleansed him from deep within in all the layers such that whatever Nammalwar spoke has become the beautified version of all scriptures..!

The intense connection that Nammalwar established with his manas tied him strongly to God ever! If alwar showed us the path to ultimate goal, God himself by making manas his constant companion, then any other goal in our life can not be too hard to achieve in this way, can it!?

-From the discourse of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji,

-Bhagavad Vishayam, 03 November 2018


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